I occasionally and affectionately refer to my chocolate lab as Two-Forty. We actually have two labs, the other is black, but 240 requires some special attention.
Two-Forty has more issues than any animal or pet should have. Even as I look at her right now she is licking her paws. If she isn’t licking them, she’s chewing the fur off of them, creating scars and welts. Front or back paws, it doesn’t matter. I think it’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but the vet seems to think it’s some sort of allergy.
At times, her eyes are bit sunken and droopy with bit of a crust around the edges. When she looks at you with that inquisical head tilt and those eyes, it is the most pathetic thing you’ve ever seen. It would take a stone cold killer to not be momentarily sympathetic.
Her ears are constantly inflamed and swollen. She doesn’t hear so well these days so sometimes you need to get a visual to get her attention. Too much time digging in those ears over the years.
Oddly, she does not lick faces. So when you grab hold of her face and scratch those jowls, she won’t lick your nose. Don’t know why. She never has. She just starts to sniffin’.
Can I tell you she is the most passive, most inviting, most ‘please-come-and-pet-me’ dog you’ll ever know!?
If you approach her when she’s laying down with the obvious intent to pet her, that tail will start floppin’ and she will instantly roll over on her back. No hesitation. Friend or foe, it doesn’t matter. There she’ll lay, spread eagle, as long as you scratch her belly. And just as cats purr with contentment, 240 kinda snorts like a pig if she’s really into it!
Another interesting note about 240 is she really doesn’t bark much. “Speak! Speak!” just doesn’t work with her. When she does bark, it’s always a pleasant surprise, and it is one of the deepest, most classic bark sounds you’ve ever heard. It will definitely get your attention.
When I get up in the morning, both dogs instantly rise because they know food is involved. If 240 is in the doorway, she immediately springs to her feet as I pass. If she is not in my exit path, I have to find her because she doesn’t hear so well (all that scratchin’). I give her a gentle nudge and she’s off and running, tail a waggin,’ getting ready for the ‘happy dance!’
You know how a dog makes that back leg wiggle when you scratch them in just the right place? Well, now imagine the dog on all fours, having the same leg reaction. She squats down a bit and those back legs start to tappin’ as she anticipates breakfast! Happy Dance! It’s quite the spectacle!
Perhaps you’re asking yourself, “If 240 is possibly the sweetest dog ever but has all these issues, how come you don’t take her to the vet to see what’s wrong with her?”
The trips to the vet for 240 probably started within weeks of bringing her home. Of course there’s all the shots, heartworm tests, flee medicine, shampoos, etc. Problem with 240 is there’s always something more. Got to swab her ears to see what infection she has. Then there’s the ear cleaners, the ointments and the creams. Moving to her paws it’s the same routine. Checking for infections, the topical solutions, the pills and more sprays. If it comes in a bottle, or tube, if it’s prescribed or over the counter, I’ve gotten it for 24o.
Did I mention she also has seizures? Yep. So in addition to whatever she’s on for her ears or paws, she also takes phenobarbital twice daily for seizures.
Well it was time for shots and check-ups this weekend so back we go to the vet. Got some antibiotics for the infection on her paws and after years of being told it might be a food allergy, I’m trying the ‘special diet’. Her treats are now carrots, and her food is the ‘potato and rabbit blend. Yum! We’ll see how it goes. The vet says to give it at least a month.
Why 240 you ask? Because every time I take her to the vet, that’s what it costs me. $240.
It’s unbelievable. Two hundred forty dollars seems to be the price on every visit.
Love that dog! She’ll be nine next month. With all the bitin’ and scratchin’, she looks 90!
This weekend it was $371.73 for both of them, but I guarantee that if you do the math, 240 (aka ‘Coco’) cost me at least…
Well, you know what she costs me, but she gives it all back with a daily ‘happy dance,’ a deep bark, a back roll and a satisfying snort!